Topeka In Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' budget amendments, offered Tuesday, she is seeking authorization for $20.5 million in bonds to build prison space to incarcerate the anticipated increase in inmates from legislation that increases punishments of sex offenders.
The measures now go before the Legislature, which starts its wrap-up session April 26. None will take effect without their approval.
The new proposals were part of Sebelius' budget amendments. Some were housekeeping items, others corrected errors made in the budget approved earlier in the session and some were more substantial, such as those for prison funding and free admission to state parks.
On prisons, the proposal for bonding authority to expand El Dorado prison could clash with a move to build a private prison.
Corrections Secretary Roger Werholtz opposes private prisons, but declined to say whether the bonding proposal would knock out private prison legislation.
"We're putting forward the options that we prefer, to at least handle the initial expansion," Werholtz said.
Lawmakers are considering increases in punishments for sex offenders that could add 1,000 inmates to the 9,000-inmate system during the next several years.
Other budget amendments include:
¢ $1.6 million to cover extended stays by youths in mental health treatment centers.
¢ $122,000 to fund a new Abuse Prevention Unit in the attorney general's office.
¢ $100,000 to reimburse families who must purchase treatment products to maintain the health of people with PKU, an amino acid disorder, and hemophilia.